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Sunday September 26, 2021


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Cars without humans coming to California...



Robot cars without drivers could be on California streets by early spring.

Long-awaited state regulations for autonomous cars without human drivers may be approved Monday by a legal compliance agency, according to the state Department of Motor Vehicles, which submitted the rules to the Office of Administrative Law on Jan. 11.

A thumbs-up would open a 30-day public notice period, during which companies can apply for permits to test the cars. California could begin issuing such permits April 2, according to spokeswoman Jessica Gonzalez.

“I think we’ll definitely see some companies applying for driverless testing permits right away,” she said. “Manufacturers will want to be the first ones.”

California is a hotbed for robot-car development, with 50 companies testing 387 autonomous vehicles. They all are required to have a backup driver ready to take the wheel on public roads.

“This is a significant step toward an autonomous future in the state, and signals that California is interested in leading by example in the deployment of autonomous vehicles,” said Uber spokeswoman Sarah Abboud in an email. The ride-hailing company operates autonomous taxis with backup drivers in Arizona and Pittsburgh. It tests autonomous cars in San Francisco with backup drivers but not passengers. Uber declined to comment about whether it would apply for a no-driver permit.





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